Magnesium rich foods

Magnesium - Why It's So Important

Magnesium is one of the most important minerals that is used by the human body for many functions. Although it seems like a simple nutrient to obtain through food, many individuals are actually deficient. The benefits of a balanced level of magnesium are many but, unfortunately low levels of magnesium can contribute to a plethora of symptoms that can be linked to several health issues.

Even more concerning is the deficit of magnesium in people who have elevated stress levels. High stress, can activate the fight-or-flight thus depleting B vitamins and important minerals, such as magnesium. This in turn can also alter digestive and immune function, further preventing the absorption of magnesium.

Magnesium is responsible for supporting bowel regularity, aiding in the absorption of calcium, supporting the heart muscle and helping to regulate blood sugar levels. Without magnesium these functions would be severely impaired.

A few signs you may be deficient in magnesium:

  • Muscle cramps / tight muscles
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Headaches & migraines
  • Heart rhythm abnormalities
  • PMS (premenstrual syndrome)
  • Elevated stress levels
  • Blood sugar fluctuations
  • Constipation
  • Mood swings/ Depression

The need for magnesium can increase due to extended periods of high stress, malabsorption and autoimmune disorders. Magnesium is also an essential component in many of the brain’s functions.

Magnesium rich foods include:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Almonds and almond butter
  • Seaweed
  • Leafy greens
  • Chocolate (cocoa powder, unsweetened)
  • Flax seeds

In addition,  magnesium deficiency can be treated through supplementation. The body can benefit greatly from this as you can take calculated amounts without having to estimate how much you might be getting from food in order to meet your daily intake.

The benefits of a balanced diet is important. However, measuring the amounts of nutrients you're getting through your diet can be validated through further testing. Consider getting your magnesium levels checked by your healthcare practitioner. Once that has been determined, the type of magnesium that is needed can be chosen, dependent on your specific needs. Exploring this with your medical practitioner may, in fact, make a tremendous difference in your health.

Ingredients with Zinc

Zinc for Taste

Sean E. Heerey ND, MA, CCC/SLP

Why does food taste funny?
Many parents report that their children won’t try new foods. Or maybe the complaint is that the food has no taste. Children tend to eat the same restricted set of foods regularly, which may lead to other issues such as nutrient deficiencies.

This problem can persist into adulthood. Could it be a zinc deficiency? In patients with impaired taste function, supplementing with zinc improved taste sensation.

Zinc is a critical part of a salivary protein called gustin. Studies show that treatment with zinc leads to increased gustin levels and improvements in taste.

Many medications cause zinc levels to be depleted, such as blood pressure medications, anti-virals, cholesterol-lowering medications, corticosteroids, birth control pills and H2 blockers (Axid®, Pepcid®, Zantac®). In addition to improvements in taste, zinc plays a critical role in the proper functioning of the body's immune system.

Studies and clinical observations have shown that zinc lozenges shorten the duration of cold symptoms in adults. Zinc is required for a numerous activities related to cell reproduction and wound healing. It is involved in the body's ability to metabolize carbohydrates for energy consumption and needed for optimal thyroid hormone production.

Long-term supplementation with zinc can lead to copper or folic acid deficiency, so it is recommended to supplement with these other nutrients as well.
Supplementation of zinc and essential fatty acids at the same time may be more effective than taking these 2 nutrients by themselves. Small children may take 10 mg a day with food. Older children can start with 30 mg a day with food. Intranasal use of zinc, i.e., placing it directly on your nasal passages, is not recommended as it can cause long-lasting or permanent loss of smell.

Consult with your health care provider for optimal dosing. Foods that are rich in zinc include: beef, lamb, sesame seeds, pumpkins seeds, cashews, spinach, lentils and garbanzo beans.